Tag: sonnet

Unfinished Business

Another find from my folders, this sonnet – thanks to young people around the world – isn’t yet history!

Once upon a time we wandered wild
And free to choose from nature’s mighty store –
But all too soon, alas, we were beguiled
By dreams of staying put and having more.
As seedbanks swelled, our heads began to fill
With visions of a life spent free of toil –
The clink of gold and silver in the till,
The clash of bronze and iron, the glug of oil.
We built ourselves a glass and concrete prison
And spread consumer culture round the world –
With economic growth our only mission,
The planet warmed and giant oceans boiled.
Our story ends where history began –
A choice to make, if make it still we can.

October 2012


Image result for climate change protests


Image: Financial Times

Life Sentence

A child discovers wonders every day
And paints a golden picture of his world,
As stepping-stones to island haunts make way
For archipelagos and tales untold.
O where can he belong who seeks from birth
The answers to all questions – keys of mind
To treasure-chests of truths – but here on Earth
In free and equal friendship with his kind?
Though walls arise imagination soars
Beyond their shadow to a sunlit land
Where smiles greet strangers, sorrow opens doors
And dreams come true by popular demand.
The child I was once painted this in gold
And will not let me rest now I am old.


I’ve written this sonnet to try and encapsulate some of the themes that have been swirling around my three previous posts, best read in sequence – Art Attacks # 1,2 and 3. Probably tried to cram in too much but, heigh-ho, you only live once!


Image result for child in meadows


Image: EnviroMat


Am I the man you wanted to become
 In all your wildest dreams at break of day
 When world was green and summer still to come,
 The ball in hand and everything to play?
 Time was when hopes were high and every hit
 A winner bound for glory. Only I
 Can see that curve-ball coming in a bit
 To leave you thrashing empty air and sky.
 I cannot climb like Alice through the glass
 To show you how to laugh away your tears -
 This one-way mirror lets no signal pass
 To tell you I'm the stronger for your fears.
 Alone you'll keep a vigil through the night
 To stand with me this morning in the light.

Image: http://www.tianxinqi.com

Inspired by the photograph above I started to write this sonnet but struggled with it until this morning when by chance a facebook friend posted the magical clip below. I’d seen it before but forgotten it.

Serendipity*, you might say, but how could I not finish the poem after seeing it again?

*If you want to read my earlier post on Serendipity, please click on the link in this sentence.





My True Nature

I looked inside myself again today
To see if I could find the real me.
Perhaps he never ventures out to play
But stops indoors, afraid of enmity.
I listened for his voice but only heard
My breathing and the beating of my heart
While somewhere up above a singing bird
Made music far beyond the reach of art
To capture. Lost in nature, I was young
Again and back to early days when we
Would wake at dawn to hear the self-same song
From throats since stilled: ancestral amity
To stir an ancient blood within my veins
And urge this captive heart to break its chains.

I wrote this sonnet in response to June 14 Challenge issued by Suzanne Bowditch on her excellent site, well worth checking out.

A Shrine to Lazy Bones

The inspiration – if you can call it that – for this poem came from two news items. One concerned the fact that the life expectancy of UK men shows a bigger range between rich and poor than at any time in 150 years. That’s 150 years of social legislation gone down the tube. The other concerned state primary schools, where 6 year olds have gone on strike to protest against the introduction of yet more new tests. The background here is that British children are amongst the unhappiest in Europe.

So the rich are living longer and their children are exempt from stressful early testing. Liberty is become licence, it seems, cut loose from equality and humanity. The changes began with the mania for deregulation back in the early 80s when our handbag-wielding leader proclaimed there was no such thing as society, only individual men and women. My question would be, was she just stating a fact of life or making a prophesy of a nasty future where survival of the fittest is the only creed and a notional afterlife is the only consolation for the losers?

The historian EP Thompson believed the 19th Century working classes desperately oscillated between politics and religion, depending on which of them offered more hope. If it is to be religion’s turn again, let’s at least make it one we can all agree on. My religion would involve a common belief in the sacredness of life itself, a fusion of freedom and equality and humanity that would stop the crazy see-saw.

A Shrine to Lazy Bones

Two spectres haunt this house of humankind
And stalk the hall to keep us in our room.
At dead of night we wake with troubled mind
To fears of open lock and closing tomb.
Two spectres: one the ever-hungry ghost
That shrieks for more and more, the more we give -
A cuckoo in the nest, our children lost
To parents much too busy just to live.
The other spook's a mirage: heaven, hell -
And life a dress rehearsal for their sake.
When kids - all work, no play - are saved by the bell 
Then wonder not, but sleep till death awake.
To exorcise these household demons both,
Let's re-enchant the world and worship sloth.


Image: http://www.kennethdepoorter.be

Lost and Found in the Self-Help Section


You tell me Be Yourself but who am I?
A husband, father, granddad, neighbour, friend,
Performer, viewer, listener, passer-by,
Explorer, seeker, witness - there's no end
To me, no wall where all beyond is yours
And all within is mine. I want the world
In all her ragged glory, free of wars
Where egos clash and propaganda's hurled.
No label can contain the whole of me,
No badge of creed or colour pin me down,
No uniform confer identity,
No flag of mine will flutter in your town -
For you and I are everywhere and none,
Our doors wide open, nobody at home.

			     Dave Kingsbury